Monday, June 14, 2004

Con Lag 101

I am a con rat -- in other words, I attend a fair number of conventions. Most are of the science fiction/fantasy variety, some are of the romance writers type and others are in search of Jack the Ripper (yet another story.)

For those of you who travel via airplanes, you can readily appreciate what I experience post convention -- I call it 'con lag'. It has all the symptoms of jetlag. In other words, a brain that does not function, a body that feels seriously out of whack and the intense desire to curl up with a stuffed animal and sleep all day. Given all the energy I expend at a convention, I'm wasted afterwards. Hence I coined the term 'con lag' when I found it mirrored what I felt flying back from, let's say, England or Hong Kong, depending on the intensity of the convention.

After my first few convention experiences back in 1998, I learned how to mitigate 'con lag' as much as possible. Oddly enough, the remedy is roughly the same for the air variety. Lots of fluids, healthy foods, lots of sleep and an aversion to making important decisions. The less alcohol consumed during the convention, the better.

DreamCon's con lag has proved to be survivable, similiar to flying back from the West coast. It's not extremely pleasant, but that's the breaks. It doesn't rate like the serious three-day con lag I get from DragonCon. Dragon is a HUGE convention and I'm working from sunrise to midnight, doing panels, meeting/greeting, staying up and talking with friends I see once a year. After four straight days of that, I crash. And it's UGLY. Really ugly. Just like the jetlag you get when you fly home from Hong Kong. I've done both and they're equal.

So now it's time for yet another quart of water, a bubble in the hot tub and a good night's sleep. Tomorrow the brain will boot up and life will be better.

Til later....

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